Friday, March 29, 2013

SPORTS STORY >> Cabot boys win, girls tie with Central

Leader sportswriter

A pair of second-half goals by junior forward Trevor Reed made the difference for Cabot as the Panthers defeated Little Rock Central 3-1 at Panther Stadium on Thursday.

Reed broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth minute of the second half with a straight-ahead dribbler that gave the Panthers (2-4-1, 1-1) a 2-1 lead, and finished off the Tigers with an identical strike with less than eight minutes remaining in what was essentially a nonconference matchup between two 7A/6A East Conference teams.

“Two great individual efforts from Trevor Reed was the difference,” Panthers coach Steve Porter said. “But I think we squandered a bunch of other chances, especially towards the end once we kind of established the lead. I thought it was not one of our better games overall. Previous games, we’ve played much better and lost. It’s good to get the win and prepare to play Mountain Home on Tuesday.

“We’ve played well, and now we’re starting to win. Hopefully, we can continue to play well and win in the future.”

The Panthers took an early 1-0 lead when Blakelyn Devore cross-assisted Evan Wilson, who got past the Central goalkeeper in the second minute. The Tigers answered during the 35th minute to tie the score 1-1 at the half.

“Soccer can be so much about inches and luck,” Porter said. “In other games, we controlled possession better than the opponents, created just as many chances and just not scored. You take your victories when you can, and we’re happy to win, but we need to play better in the future.”

Reed created his own opportunities on each of his second-half goals, dribbling in from the side and charging the goal to catch Central’s goalkeeper out of position each time.

“I think he’s one of the best juniors in the state,” Porter said. “He has the potential to go on and play at the college level and do really well. He works hard, is a really great kid. He’s everything a coach would want, but, as a coach, I don’t want us to be overly reliant on one player. We have some other good players on the team who can contribute and do well, and they need to.”

The Lady Panthers have become experts at avoiding losses, but for the fourth time this season, could not find a way to get the advantage on the scoreboard as they tied Little Rock Central in a scoreless 0-0 defensive struggle. Although Cabot (5-2-4) and Central are both expected to be contenders in the 7A/6A East Conference this season, Thursday’s matchup was not the one that counted towards conference as the new policy is for all league teams to meet only once instead of two times as in previous seasons. That meant no penalty-kick shootout when the clock expired and no score for either club.

“This is the one that was not on the original schedule set by the A.D.s” Lady Panthers coach Kerry Castillo said. “We just decided to play each other to get a harder competition game. We really didn’t do some of the things I would have liked to see us do. Our style of play was a little different. We just wanted to test the waters a little to see what they brought.”

Castillo did not show his entire hand during the contest, holding breakout scorer Jessica Souza to primarily a defensive role at the center midfield, while the Tigers seemed to do the same with some of their personnel.

“Didn’t want to show all of our cards just yet,” Castillo said. “It was a very athletic up-and-down game. I thought we played pretty well as far as defensively and our organization, we just boomed the ball up and down too much, that’s just not our style of play. Our back line had a really good game, Devin Patterson, Codee Park, Melody Sampson, Kristen Oitker, all four played really well, and smart.”


The North Little Rock Lady Wildcats got on the winning side of things in 7A/6A East Conference play on Tuesday with a 7-0 shutout victory over West Memphis to improve to 2-5 overall and 1-1 in league play. Senior standout Katie Van Pelt led the way with four goals, while fellow senior Jordan Toler scored one goal and had two assists.

“It was definitely good to get that first conference win,” Lady Wildcats coach Justin Musick said. “We had been on a losing skid, but it feels like maybe we’re starting to turn things around and head back in the right direction. Hopefully, it will continue into more of our conference games.

The Wildcats boys team had an equally easy time with the Blue Devils in an 8-0 shutout. Jack Fleming led the way for North Little Rock with three goals while Cole Purtle scored two goals. Hobbs Knowlton, Sammy Covarrubios and Morgan Jackson all scored a goal each for the Wildcats. The win improved North Little Rock’s record to 5-0-2 overall and 2-0 in the 7A/6A East Conference.

“Overall Jack Fleming has been a good goal scorer and creator,” Wildcats coach Marc Gill said. “Cole Purtle and Ashton Miller are constantly running the sidelines and causing problems. Peyton Land has been playing really well as a stopper and has stepped up as a sophomore.”